Blogs

WESTAF Boosts Advocacy Efforts to Support NEA

From the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF):

WESTAF has expanded its advocacy work on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts. Recently, three contractors were hired to focus exclusively on this project and to work closely with our regional network of advocates. WESTAF has also created an NEA Advocacy enter with the latest updates on the NEA FY18 budget as well as an Advocacy Toolkit that contains step-by-step guides for calling, writing, and meeting with members of Congress. Advocates can also find talking points there to use when engaging with members of Congress or their staff.
Could $499,000 in Grants That Help Our Soldiers Be One Reason Congress Spared the NEA?

From Carolinia A. Miranda, writing for the Los Angeles Times:

After President Trump threatened to eliminate the [National Endowment for the Arts], Congress approved a spending bill that not only funds the NEA for another year, but increased its $148 million annual budget by nearly $2 million. Lost in much of the acrimonious debate over whether the NEA should live or die is the organization’s support for cultural programs that cater to military veterans, active duty service members and their families.
Over 50 Percent of Americans Live and Work in Suburbs. Are 50 Percent of Them Arts Leaders?

Joshua Heim, Arts Program Manager for the city of Bellevue, Washington, posts to AFTA’s Artsblog:

The lack of suburban arts leaders shouldn’t come as a surprise. From 2011-2015, Barry Hessenius published an annual list of the Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts. Of the 142 individuals included on that list over the years, just three people came from suburbs. If you’re anxious about the steady decline in arts participation and interested in a fully integrated creative situation, then this is a problem. Because over half of Americans live and work in suburbs.
NYC Reconsidering Arts Funding Formula to More Equitably Support Smaller ‘Marginalized’ Groups

From The New York Times:

Mayor Bill de Blasio and his lieutenants are deep into a re-examination of New York City’s $178 million arts budget and other cultural resources to try and give a higher profile — and perhaps more taxpayer money — to smaller institutions in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The proposed new approach, with an emphasis on greater equity, has some major arts organizations fearful they will end up with less of the municipal-funding pie, while more marginalized groups are hopeful about finally receiving more.

Trump Signs FY2017 Spending Bill, Includes Additional NEA and NEH Funding

Congress has passed, and President Trump has signed into law, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, which funds the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year. Included in the spending bill is increased funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, an additional $2 million more than the 2016 budget for each agency.

From The Washington Post:

Republicans and Democrats who negotiated the measure Trump signed Friday had successfully defended other accounts Trump had targeted for spending cuts, such as foreign aid, the Environmental Protection Agency, support for the arts and economic development grants, among others.
Executive Director Eloise Damrosch of Portland's Regional Arts & Culture Council to Retire

Eloise Damrosch, the executive director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (Portland, OR), has announced her plans to retire on June 30, 2017. Damrosch has earned a local and national reputation as a respected arts administrator while helping create one of the best-known public art collections in the country.

New from the GIA Reader: How to Invest in the Arts without Buying a Picasso

In an article in the latest issue of the GIA Reader, “How to Invest in the Arts without Buying a Picasso,” Laura Callanan of Upstart Co-Lab writes about the emergence of impact investing and how it can support the creative economy.

Federal Budget Agreement for FY 2017 Would Slightly Increase Funding for NEA, NEH

From The Washington Post:

The new federal spending bill would spare — and even slightly increase — funding for three arts-related agencies that President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The agreement announced Monday calls for the CPB’s budget to remain the same, at $445 million. Spending for fiscal 2017 would go up for the NEA and NEH, each from $148 million to $150 million.

Rose Ann Cleveland Executive Director of Cafritz Foundation Announces Retirement

In a letter to friends and colleagues, Executive Director Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation announced that she will retire at the end of October. Cleveland also served as chair of the Grantmakers in the Arts board of directors from 2013 through 2014.

"Working at the Foundation has been such an honor and a blessing—I am astonished when I do the math and realize that I will have been here for over twelve years.

It is hard to leave a job that I love and all my colleagues here in the office and in the wider social sector community. Yet, while I still have energy and some wits about me, I hope to be able to spend more time pursuing my own writing and other projects."

Member Spotlight on The George Gund Foundation

For the month of May, GIA’s photo banner features work supported by The George Gund Foundation. The private foundation was established in 1952 by George Gund to provide intelligent underwriting of creative solutions to the issues and for the institutions that were important to him. Areas of focus include the arts, economic development and community revitalization, education, environment, and human services.